NOW I know why I bought an SACD player
Just got the Mobile Fidelity SACD of Patricia Barber's "Companion". The original redbook CD has been a longtime favorite and all around demo disk for me since it was first released. I know I've bitched privately (and publicly on this forum) about the shortcomings of some SACDs, especially when compared to vinyl playback, but this SACD blew me away. Patricia Barber sounds so "present" , as does the band, that it takes little cognitive effort to imagine you're in a front row (OK maybe behind the stage as live recordings most often sound to me) at the Green Mill. The disc has an 'organic" quality to the sound and presentation, you (at least I do) get the sense that the musicians are playing as part of an ensemble, much like hearing them live. Detail is plentiful, but never in-your-face and Barber's voice is so relaxed and full and the way she lingers over a phrase or her voice trails off at the end of a line reminds me of the way she sounded live at a recent concert of hers I was priviledged to attend. I can't help but wonder what this stuff would sound like on vinyl. To parahrase Ms. Barber:
"If this isn't the absolute sound, it'll have to do until the real thing comes along". And I'm sure it wasn't the Laiphroig as I was drinking Bowmore.